Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
James Cameron, Avatar
Lee Daniels, Precious
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Reitman reaches maturity; Tarantino returns to glory; Daniels joins the élite. These three directors will see their excellent films take the consolation prizes of Best Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress. That leaves Bigelow and Cameron, who once were married to each other, in a custody battle over that invaluable bundle of joy, Oscar. Bigelow is just the fourth woman to be nominated for Best Director; sentiment and the morning line suggest that she'll be the first femme winner. When Cameron won at the Golden Globes, he told the audience, "Frankly, I thought Kathryn was gonna get this. And she richly deserves it." Fact is, they both do. Stick around to see if the Best Picture and Director Oscars are split this year: Bigelow for Director, Cameron's Avatar for Picture.